When I talk about solitude I am really talking also about making space for that intense, hungry face at the window, starved cat, starved person.

May Sarton

May Sarton

Profession: Poet
Nationality: Belgian

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My anger, because I am old, is considered a sign of madness or senility. Is this not cruel? Are we to be deprived even of righteous anger? Is even irritability to be treated as a symptom? There.

A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.

Art must be nourished by faith, the faith of an equal.

Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at fifteen to write several novels.

When grace is given it comes to us as joy, maybe, but it can also be earned, I am convinced, through the rigorous examination of the sources of pain.

One has only to set a loved human being against the fact that we are all in peril all the time to get back a sense of proportion. What does anything matter compared to the reality of love and its span, so brief at best, maintained against such odds?

And Andy, gloomy and self-devouring, sat at his desk and chewed the cud of memory.

One thing is certain, and I have always known it—the joys of my life have nothing to do with age. They do not change. Flowers, the morning and evening light, music, poetry, silence, the goldfinches darting about ...

When I am alone the flowers are really seen; I can pay attention to them. They are felt as presences. Without them I would die. Why do I say that? Partly because they change before my eyes. They live and die in a few days; they keep me closely in touch with process, with growth, and also with dying. I am floated on their moments.

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.

One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.

Women certainly learn a lot from books oriented toward a masculine world. Why is not the reverse also true? Or are men really so afraid of women's creativity (because they are not themselves at the center of creation, cannot bear children) that a woman writer of genius evokes murderous rage, must be brushed aside with a sneer as irrelevant? When.

In the end what kills is not agony (for agony at least asks something of the soul) but everyday life.

We have to break the mirror to be ourselves...